Since Pearl left the safety of the hutch, both day and night, I have seen her regularly. But today I was worried as no Pearl for the morning feed, Hubbie reported he didnt see her at lunchtime and she wasn't there when I got home - but thankfully reported for the evening feed, and of course got peanuts specially thrown to her little pink feet!
My blog reader is always asking after Fennie dove, so I remembered to get out my camera and prove that Fennie is totally recovered. Here he is on the roof...
and back view....
If you remember, he had an injured wing and spent several weeks staying close to the garden and spending the nights under the gutter on the cottage roof. Here he is in May...
Also photographed today..... Lesa...who is moulting slightly around his head
And Bandit - also a he, and currently courting a young lady dove....
And Cloud, also injured in the spring but now fine....getting tangled with the hose...
At tea time - 4pm - hubbie comes home if he can and we have afternoon tea and watch All Creatures Great and Small, currently showing on the Yesterday channel - very civilised! Today as he came in the gate, he said 'Are the doves ok?' - Yes, I said, Why? ..... He had just seen a fox come out of the garden! Broad daylight! The fox had emerged under the laurel bush in the far corner of the garden, from behind the dove hospital and obviously near Jose's table. I was a bit horrified because minutes before Jose had been on the ground, and I had also been out all day and left her and Happy to it - not locked up. We have started doing the urine thing again - where we save it up and pour it round the places where a fox might enter the garden, but if foxy is going to come in the daytime, I can't protect the birds totally, and won't have Jose and Faith locked in permanently - it's not fair to them. I don't know if the urine will work, but it is an old remedy that is recommended. I knew a fox had been around in the night, as I'd had to clear the disgusting evidence from the lawn, but as now Jose and Faith are both brought in at night, and there is no way a fox could reach Summer then I wasn't worried. I always shut Faith up when I go out - mainly to protect a poorly old bird from male dove advances, but I haven't been shutting Jose up like I always used to - because of Happy.
Wed. 19th - Happy came to the hutch and went in early, so I shut them in together as I was going out again. They may be shut in but at least they have company, and Happy still likes sitting in the egg-less nest, just cooing! He still brings the occasional stick to add to it! Silly boy, Jose is not interested!
I took a photo of another stunning new recruit - who will be called Black Joseph. He is very like Joseph who had paramyxo and is now recovered but much darker, especially on his back.
To remind you, here is Joseph.....as he was in August....
Sunday 23rd Sept 12 - Such dreadfully hard rain fall that I brought poor Faith in from a dripping wet box in the garden to sit in the conservatory - where she had a nice doze.....
The draped thing in the background is Jose's crate - the old sheet is on to drape the back to give Jose some privacy at night!!!
I caught a bold young dove in Jose's hutch the other day - and ringed her with blue/green rings, and named her Cheeky. She doesn't come every day, but when she does, she always heads straight for the hutch again. I have never seen her on the lawn so far.
A beautiful browny-mauve pigeon is in the garden. He reminded me of Chocolate Brownie so much that I wondered if it could possibly be him back again. But here's the new one....
and here's Chocolate Brownie, in April 2011
and you can see the CB has white feathered legs, which the new one, Chocolate Brownie2, has not!
There a very cute little bird around the garden at the moment. It's very elusive, the minute I get my camera it disappears! I don't even know what it is...... what do you think? Sorry, it's a very bad photo, taken after dark.
Still way way too many pigeons around. They are very bold and come to the kitchen door.....
and even come inside for peanuts on the mat! Ok, I know I am encouraging them!
Tuesday 25.9.12 - Today we had some sunshine and Faith was able to sit at the front of her box and enjoy it.
In the early evening, just before it got dusk, I noticed some egg shell on the patio. It definitely wasn't there earlier as I had swooshed the patio down with the contents of the bucket after I'd washed the kitchen floor. Does this mean Sky and Summer's first egg has hatched? I honestly can't remember when they are due! If I get a chance I will peep into the cote tomorrow.
Friday 28th Sept. - Well a few days have gone quickly past and I haven't seen Joseph for all of them - though Black Joseph is still visiting. I really miss my gorgeous Joseph of many colours, and his enquiring face looking up to see if the peanuts are coming. Poor Charlie, who got caught by the sparrowhawk in the spring, and was rescued by me, seems to have something wrong with him like a mild form of paramyxo. He finds it hard to pick up grain at the first stab, and by the time he's going for it for the second time 'some rascal or other has popped in and prigged it!'. Luckily he seems to live very locally, and stays around at the end of the day with a few others, when most of the pigeons have left, so I can feed him and he has the leisure to eat. Sometimes it takes him up to five pecks before he can pick it up, poor thing! The other pigeons with him are lucky as they get fed too - and one of my rules is - now that I have so many birds here - that pigeons alone, without white doves in their number - don't get fed at all - unless they are special or poorly! This is Charlie, below, easily recognised with his white wing feathers and purple ring.
And here he is just after he was rescued.... in shock.... and before ringing
Later he developed a problem with his neck and could only eat if he didnt bend down too far.... Here here is in February with his thickened or swollen neck.
So he is a survivor anyway, and hopefully will get over whatever ails him now.
Today I checked the calendar and realised that I had seen one egg laid in the nest in the cote on 9th Sept which is obviously 19 days ago and therefore it must've hatched by now. I took the steps and gently, quietly had a peek, and could see a fluffy yellow bundle under Summer. Wow! we have at least one baby!
This is Sky and Summer's fourth brood this year, and all since May too - first we had Elizabeth and Olympia, then Elizabeth2 and Philip, then Spring and Autumn, and now this one...or two. The first Elizabeth died, and so did poor little Pip from the second batch. I no longer see Olympia or Lizzie2 so I don't know what happened to them, but Spring and Autumn are stunning birds, and still visiting. I do so hope they survive til next year, and Pearl of course, Jose and Happy's baby. These three were all growing up in the best possible time of year, with good weather and plenty of food, and Spring &Autumn had experienced parents, so I am hopeful for all three, but so far, in all my dovie history, I haven't had one baby survive and be seen in the garden the next year. Some babies may have survived but flown away to somewhere else.
Due to the huge numbers of pigeons and me trying to cut back on the feed, I have been feeding Sky and Summer in the cote, by gently reaching up and putting a small handful of grain and peanuts on the front doorstep, as it were, of the nestbox. Summer is actually quite tame and will sometimes eat from my hand if I sit on the grass. Both she and Sky accept the extra feeding in the cote graciously, though in the beginning I was scared that I might frighten them from the nest. It means that whoever is on the nest can eat without leaving it, or waiting for the other parent to come back and relieve them.
Hopefully the next blog will be all about the new baby/ies....to be contd.